They highlight what has been particularly helpful
Mortgage advisers have been giving their feedback on partnering with Astute Financial Management, and many have highlighted the group’s compliance and regulation support as standing “head and shoulders above the rest” in the broker group market.
David Hart, director of The Mortgage Supply Co Limited, said that his group had been initially daunted by the onset of the new regime, and started to look for a broker group to partner with last year. He praised Astute’s value proposition, as well as its focus on the interests of its adviser members.
“With regulation moving quickly towards us, it became clear that we did not have the resources required to navigate the new regime,” Hard said.
“Once we started to look to where we would move our group to, it became clear there was only one group that stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Astute has delivered everything they said they would and has always had our advisers’ interests at the forefront. They are a group second to none.”
Director of The Mortgage Supply Co Limited, David Windler praised the level of knowledge and expertise offered by the group, and said that partnering with Astute had allowed the advisers in his group to carry on with their jobs without taking the full regulatory burden on to their own shoulders.
“The expertise, selflessness and sheer hard work we’ve experienced working with the Astute team for the past two years has allowed us to meet and surpass compliance requirements, and allowed us to get on with the real job of being mortgage advisers,” Windler said.
“Our environment is more demanding than it has ever been, and advisers need to pick their aggregator group wisely. The decision to partner with Astute has proved to be a good one for us.”
Commenting on the level of support Astute offers to advisers, CEO Sarah Johnston noted that its processes are rigorous - however, she said that all of Astute’s members have embraced the added requirements, as they provide a strong level of security in front of the regulators.
Astute regularly reviews its members’ files and offers feedback and training on areas of potential improvement, and Johnston said this feature has been very helpful to advisers - if initially a bit daunting.
“Advisers have been taking on a lot of change throughout this year, and most of them have very much embraced it - but they have had to fundamentally change their businesses,” Johnston said.
“We’re really fortunate that when we came over to New Zealand from Australia, we brought over a software system that was built under the ASIC regime. That was completely built for record keeping and automation, so we’ve been really lucky that we’ve been able to utilise that a lot in New Zealand.”
“Our members have the ability within that system to copy their emails over, make notes on them and document everything they do - and now it’s really just a matter of getting used to doing that,” she explained.
“We’ve had a process over the last six-eight months of inspecting our files and doing reviews, and we naturally expected there to be gaps initially. There are 35-40 points that we check, which can be a bit daunting for advisers at first, but we’re also doing a trend analysis now on what the major things a lot of people are missing out on are.
“I share that with the team - it’s really helpful for our advisers to know some of the things that everyone struggles with, and to be offered support and training in those specific areas.”